NIGEL Clough is glad that his Burton Albion squad will have a week to recover from a hectic fixture schedule over recent weeks.
The Brewers played eight games in the 28 days between November 9 and December 7, half of which came in cup competitions, with Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday fixtures coming in each of the last three weeks.
With injuries to the likes of John Brayford, Oliver Sarkic, Nathan Broadhead and more stretching the squad, Albion battled through the congested fixture period and today have their first game-free Tuesday of the month.
That will be key as the Brewers look to take on Wycombe Wanderers away this weekend, with the Sky Bet League One leaders having a break of more than two weeks between their last game and the visit of the Brewers to Adams Park, just as visitors Lincoln City had prior to our Pirelli Stadium defeat to the Imps last weekend.
"I think resting the legs is imperative," said Clough.
"The effort they’ve put in over the last few weeks has been incredible with the three hard games on the road (against Peterborough United, Sunderland and Oldham Athletic), then coming back against Southend United and only drawing but playing 60-70 minutes with 10 men.
"When you look at the effort that has gone in in that time, the effort that went in against Lincoln was staggering from the players. They gave it absolutely everything.
"When (Lincoln) haven’t played in the time we’ve played four or five games, it’s incredible."
Clough has also clarified the current status of goalkeeper Stephen Bywater, who has not been named in a matchday squad since our 3-0 win at MK Dons on October 5.
Though still registered in case of emergencies, Clough has confirmed that Bywater is pursuing other interests currently.
“Stephen is not getting paid at the moment - he is absolutely brilliant like that," said Clough.
"He has said, ‘look, I’ve got other things on but can I stay registered and if you need me in an emergency I will keep myself fit.’
"So that’s not a problem in any way.”